An Executive Assistant to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has celebrated the impact of government’s flagship education policy, the Free Senior High School programme.
According to Nana Yaw Manteaw, the impact of the programme is especially felt in the early part of each year when parents would have been putting together funds to pay fees for the new academic year.
In his opinion, despite likely expenses of the Christmas and New Year holidays, parents do not have to cry over how to get funds to pay fees despite January pay day being a month away.
“Chaley! imagine we didn’t have Free SHS like by this time parents have started crying for money to pay fees after Xmas meanwhile payday is 30 days away. Very far,” he posted in a December 2, 2022 tweet.
Chaley! imagine we didn’t have Free SHS like by this time parents have started crying for money to pay fees after Xmas meanwhile payday is 30 days away. Very far ????
— Nana Yaw Manteaw™ (@Clickmanteaw) January 2, 2022
The Free SHS policy
It is a policy of the government of Ghana, that started in September 2017. Its main objective was for every child in Ghana who qualifies for, and is placed in a public Senior High School for his secondary education to have their fees absorbed by the government.
Nine months after taking over the reins of government in 2017, the New Patriotic Party launched the programme which was a key promise in its 2016 election manifesto.
By Free SHS, the government meant free tuition, admission fee, textbooks, library fees, science center fees, fees for ICT, examination fee, payment of utility fee, boarding and meals.
Implementation of the Free SHS Programme commenced in September 2017 with every Ghanaian child who was placed into a public second cycle institution by the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) during the 2017 school placement eligible to enjoy Free SHS.
Government absorbed all fees approved by GES Council for 353,053 first-year students made up of 113,622 Day students and 239,431 Boarding students.
The first cohort of students under the programme has since graduated, while, currently, total Free SHS enrolment stands at 1,199,750 students, with the government spending 2.2billion cedis since the launch of the programme.
However, a former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has pointed out inconsistencies in government’s data on the flagship Free Senior High School programme, which GhanaFact has verified to be true.